One of the most reputed sports broadcasters in the world, ESPN, recently released their top ten NBA rankings for the 2022 season. Meanwhile, to most of our surprise, GOAT LeBron James has lost his spot in the top five. Given that King James still averages over 30.7, it is hard for many fans to swallow the fact that he not only has been dethroned but also is not even in the top five players.
LeBron James Loses Top 5 Spot In NBA Rankings!
Ahead of the upcoming NBA 2023 season, ESPN has currently named their top 100 players in the NBA. Lebron James is ranked sixth. The Los Angeles Lakers player ranked third on the list the previous year. King James is currently not even in the top five or on the podium. That can raise some questions and possibly start a few debates. James, though, seems to be slipping in the ranks as the younger generation passes him, suggesting that old age is now starting to catch up with him.
According to ESPN commentator Dave McMenamin, LeBron James’ departure was in part due to the failure of his club. He mentioned that the Lakers had only advanced to the postseason twice in his previous four seasons with the team. Looking at the stats from his underwhelming 2021/22 season with the Lakers, LeBron’s drop from the top five may be understood. The 37-year-old scored an astounding 30.3 points per game on average.
He had a negative plus-minus rating, which caused the Lakers to give up more points than they scored while he was on the court. The main concern is how LeBron James and the Lakers respond to this, given preseason is just around the horizon before what will be his 20th season in the NBA.
ESPN Ranking Leave Stephen A. Smith Furious!
It has been a talk of the town since ESPN revealed number 6 to 10 names in their list of top 100 NBA players. Many fans and experts have raised disagreements with the ranking. Meanwhile, renowned American sports analyst and journalist Stephen A. Smith is one person who is particularly unhappy with the rankings. Smith vehemently disagrees with the position given to LeBron James and Kevin Durant in ESPN’s rankings.
In a conversation, Stephen said, “There’s no way in hell I don’t have LeBron James and Kevin Durant out of my top 5.” According to Stephen A. Smith, the focus of these talks should be on how well they play. LeBron slid to sixth place this year, and Durant plummeted eight positions to ninth.
Meanwhile, a group of approximately 200 analysts, editors, producers, and reporters from ESPN generally decides on the rankings. The panel is also asked to forecast potential contributions from the players in 2022–2023 in terms of both quantity and quality.